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Every Lien-Related Hearing is a Lien Conference

June 28th, 2013

Your humble blogger hopes that his beloved readers, thirsty for knowledge and patient in its method of delivery, would care to read this post about liens.  On the bright side – it is yet another opinion where the mighty fist of justice crushes the hopes and dreams of several lien claimants, so that’s something to be happy about.

In case your patience is running out, the basic thrust is this: it doesn’t matter who sets the hearing, or how the hearing is labeled – if the main subject of a conference is liens, then the conference is a lien conference, even if it is noticed as a Mandatory Settlement Conference, a Status Conference, or even Happy Hour at the Board.  Don’t believe me?  See rule 10770.1(c).

The panel decision of John Anderson v. Eco Building System addressed this very issue.  The Workers’ Compensation Judge set the claims of several lien claimants for what was noticed as a MSC, so, naturally, defendant’s request that the liens be dismissed for failure to pay a lien activation fee pursuant to California Code of Regulations section 4903.06 was denied.

But here’s the thing – whether or not the hearing is a lien conference, requiring the payment of a lien activation fee, is not up to the Judge.  There is no discretion, and lien claimants MUST pay to play, long before they waste defendant’s money with billable hours and travel expenses.

Also, the WCAB noted that the time to appeal – to petition for reconsideration or removal – starts to run from the date of a writing of an order: Order, Award, Minutes, something!  It doesn’t matter how clear it is to the parties what the decision of the judge is.  Until a writing is filed and entered into the record, the clock doesn’t start on any appeal.

So dear readers, as you head into your weekend, smile: there’s yet another pitfall for lien claimants on their way to extorting money from the defense.

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